My hometown art show in Keene, New Hampshire is this Labor Day weekend.
My studio is buzzing with activity this week in preparation and happy anticipation.
As I go about my work, I have been thinking about why this show is so special. I have participated in many shows all over New England and New York--some great, some not so much.
Keene Art in the Park really stands out as one of the best.
So without further adieu, here are FIVE reasons why if you haven't already, you should add Keene Art in the Park to your Labor Day weekend activities list. Come spend the weekend--as you will read there is a lot to see and do in our lovely little city under Mount Monadnock!
1. Beautiful ArtThis should go without saying at a fine art show but not all art shows are created equal. Our region is blessed with many talented artists--and you will find them all here. Representing many mediums including pastel, oil, watercolor, sculpture, and photography. Some of my favorites are the whimsical metal sculptures of Bob Taylor, animal art by Caryn King and the antique truck paintings of William C Turner. Now in its 55th year, Keene Art in the Park is expertly organized by the Monadnock Area Artist Association (MAAA)--and I will add as an artist it is dream to participate in (they even have local high school students on hand to help you schlepp your stuff around!)
2. LocationAshuelot Rive Park is the perfect setting for a late summer fine art show. This park is such a lovely, little oasis in the city--the show is set up on the grassy lawn surrounded by handsome horticultural gardens on all sides with the Ashuelot River running along the eastern edge of the park. Make sure to allow a some extra time to go for a stroll or bike ride on the Ashuelot River Trail which heads off on the north side of the park and follows the river. In just a few minutes, you will leave the sounds of the city behind. We often see beaver, deer, and turtles on our hikes down the trail. And my most favorite part of about the location? It is just across the street from my house. :-) What could be better?
3.Win a PaintingIn the many art shows I participate in, I have never seen this kind of raffle and it is all for a good cause. Each of the 75+ particpating artists will offer a painting for the raffle--look for them displayed in the booths with a "ask how to win me" sign. Purchase a raffle ticket in the MAAA booth, $3 each or 2 for $5. To enter, simply fill out the raffle with the name of the artist whose painting you would like to win. In addition to one painting, MAAA gives away tons of other great prizes from local businesses. Half of the proceeds go a scholarship fund for a local high school student going on to art school and the other half goes to the winning artist. This year, I am offering your choice of pansies or sunflowers for the raffle.
|pansies, oil on canvas, 8x8 inches. ©2012 KWentzell|
|sunflowers, oil on canvas, 8x8 inches. ©2011 KWentzell|
4. MusicAfter you have chosen something wonderful for the walls of your home you can let loose and boogie in downtown Keene. In addition to Art the Park, Keene also hosts the Keene Music Festival on Labor Day weekend. Creating community through music is their mission and you can hear an eclectic mix ( rock, pop, folk, metal, fiddle, blues, you name it!) of live music all over Keene on Friday and Saturday, locations include Art in the Park, Central Square, Railroad Square, and Heberton Hall. Go here to see the full schedule. Free and open to the public.
5. FoodAnd we can't leave out good eats, now can we? There are MANY options for dining in Keene--right at the park the boys and girls tennis teams hosts their annual fundraiser with a bake sale and lunch grill. You can follow that up right next door with the BEST (I kid you not!) ice cream from Walpole Creamery. Having this little truck parked at the end of my street is both a blessing and a curse, let me just say. If you want to venture a bit further, there are many eateries with outdoor tables in charming downtown Keene. Two of my favorites are the Serenity Bowl at Port Authority Cafe and the felafel sandwich and fries at Fritz's. Okay, now I'm hungry.
So come for the day or come for the weekend this Labor Day weekend. Keene is the place to be! Stop by and say hello, you can find me in booth #78.
Keene Art in the Park
Ashuelot Rive Park (West Street)
Labor Day Weekend
Saturday & Sunday
10am to 4pm